UK-Ireland: EU red lines

Brussels 10.10.2021 Ireland’s foreign minister has warned that the UK demands risk a “further breakdown in relations” with the European Union ahead of talks this week aimed at resolving the impasse over the Brexit agreement.(Image above: illustration, skyline).

Simon Coveney posted the remarks on Twitter after the UK’s Brexit minister reiterated his insistence that the European Court of Justice must not be allowed to oversee implementation of the deal. Coveney described this as a new “red line” that will impede progress in the negotiations.

The European Commission is expected this week to publish its proposals for breaking the deadlock over trade arrangements for Northern Ireland, the only part of the U.K. that has a land border with the 27-nation bloc. The British government has sought to renegotiate part of its divorce deal with the EU that requires customs and border checks on some goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

The regulations are intended to ensure goods entering the EU’s single market meet European standards while keeping an open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland — a key pillar of Northern Ireland’s peace process. But the checks have cause discontent of Northern Ireland’s unionists, who say they weaken the region’s ties with the rest of the UK and make it harder for businesses to operate.

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